28460 - Semiotics of Social Sciences (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Cristina Demaria

  • Credits 6

  • SSD M-FIL/05

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Semiotics (cod. 8886)

  • Course Timetable from Mar 19, 2024 to May 09, 2024


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will have acquired methods of analysis appropriate to the investigation of various fields of social communication, from politics to the news.

Course contents

During the first part of the course (first two weeks) we will approach theoretical themes of central concern for a contemporary approach to a semiotic of culture, analysing in particular the current debate in the field.

Then the topic of cultural memory will be discussed, in all its aspects of construction, transmission and conservation, and in the relationships between collective and individual memory.

In particular the concept of trauma and traumatic memory in a semiotic perspective will be considered. Several different texts related to trauma will be analysed. A special attention will be dedicated to different genres of memory, and to spaces of memory such as museums, memorials, monuments and counter-monuments (third-fifth week)-



Mandatory texts for attending students of both Semiotica delle Scienze Sociali and Semiotica della Cultura.

- Lévi-Strauss, C., Antropologia strutturale, Milano, il Saggiatore, 1990 (cap. II, XI, XV)

- Lorusso, A.M., Semiotica della cultura , Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2010

- Lotman, J. e Uspenskij, B., Tipologia della cultura, Milano, Bompiani, 1975 (parte I e parte III)

- Lotman, J., La semiosfera. L'asimmetria e il dialogo nelle strutture pensanti,Venezia, Marsilio, 1985 (pagg. 1-145)

- Lotman, J., Tesi per una semiotica delle culture, Roma, Meltemi, 2006 (seconda parte + “Il decabrista nella vita”)

-Lorusso, A.M. “Pensando al futuro: memoria e posterità” inVersus-Quaderni di studi semiotici, n. 131, 2020

- Demaria, C., Semiotica e memoria, Roma, Carocci, 2006 (Prima parte: “Riflessioni sulla memoria)

- Demaria C., Il trauma, l'archivio, il testimone, Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2012 (Introduzione e prima parte)

-Violi, P. , Paesaggi della memoria, Milano, Bompiani, 2014 (parte I. “Ricordare il trauma: dalla coazione al patrimonio traumatico”)

The students that will not attend the course (neither in presence nor on line) will have to consult the two following texts in their entirety:

Demaria, C., Semiotica e memoria, Roma, Carocci, 2006

Violi, P. , Paesaggi della memoria, Milano, Bompiani, 2014

Moreover, students are requested to choose at least one book among the following list, depending on the topic of their papers. Other texts can be also discussed with the lecturers.

- Del Marco, Vincenza, Pezzini Isabella(ed), Passioni collettive. Cultura, politica e società, Roma, Edizioni Nuova Cultura [http://www.nuovacultura.it/] , 2012

-Demaria, C.; Violi, P., “The Act of Documenting: Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing”, Media, War & Conflict, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1177/1750635219871910

-Demaria, C. Piluso, F., “Immaginari premediati. Futuro e consumo del presente nelle narrazioni seriali”, VS - Quaderni di studi semiotici, n. 131, 2020.

- Demuru, P., Essere in gioco, Bologna, BUP, 2014

- Geertz, C., Antropologia interpretativa, Bologna, il Mulino, 1988 (cap. 1, cap. 3 e cap. 4)

- Hammad M., “Il Museo della Centrale Montemarini a Roma”, in I. Pezzini, P. Cervelli eds. Scene del consumo: dallo shopping al museo, Meltemi, Roma, 2006, pp.203- 279.

- Marrone. G. Figure di città. Spazi urbani e discorsi sociali, Mimesis, 2013

- Marrone, G. Buono da pensare. Cultura e comunicazione del gusto, Carocci, 2014

- Marrone, G. Semiotica del gusto. Linguaggi del cibo, della cucina, della tavola, Mimesis "Insegne", 2016

- Mazzucchelli F., Urbicidio. Il senso dei luoghi tra distruzioni e ricostruzioni nella Ex Jugoslavia, BUP, Bologna, 2010

- Panosetti D., Pozzato M.P. (ed) Passione vintage. Il gusto per il passato nei consumi, nei film e nelle serie televisive, Roma, Carocci, 2013

- Pezzini, I. Semiotica dei nuovi musei, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2011

- Pezzini, I. Spaziante, L. (eds) Corpi mediali. Semiotica e contemporaneità, ETS, 2014

- Pozzato M.P. (ed), Testi e memoria. Semiotica e costruzione politica dei fatti, Bologna, il Mulino, 2010

- Pozzato, MP, Visual and Linguistic Representations of Places of Origins. An Interdisciplinary Analysis, Cham, Switzerland, Springer International Publishing, 2018

- Salerno, D. Terrorismo, sicurezza, post-conflitto, Libreria Universitaria, 2012

Teaching methods

The course is designed to stimulate active participation on the part of students. They will be asked to read and present in class a selection of reading materials. Active participation in collective discussion of these presentations will be considered an essential component of the course evaluation.

Assessment methods

There will be a single exam at the end of the two modules. It will be divided in two separate exam tests.

  1. A written test, in the classroom, on the computer, in which the student is required to answer four open questions on the theories and concepts discussed during the two modules of the course.
  2. A written test that the student will prepare at home and deliver by the day of the chosen session. The test will consist in identifying and setting up a concrete case of analysis, by distinguishing:

-Area of investigation

-the question that will be investigated and the research hypothesis

-the corpus and body of work on which the analysis will be based

-methodological categories deemed useful for that corpus

This exercise can be carried out in a schematic way, in the form of a ppt, or with a discursive text of a maximum of 10,000 characters.

In any case, maximum precision, detail, and concreteness of a case study are recommended.

The final mark will be the average of the marks of the two tests (50% and 50%).


Teaching tools

Lectures will be supported by the multimedia tools available in the classes of the Department of Philosophy and Communication Studies.

Office hours

See the website of Cristina Demaria